Few will shed any tears about turning the page on 2020. Yet, despite the absence of sports for more than eight months, Stony Brook Athletics had reasons to celebrate during the calendar year.
Among the highlights …
BANNER YEAR: The women’s basketball team produced a 22-game winning streak, 28-3 overall record, and its first America East regular-season and postseason titles — despite the conference tournament being called off entering the finals.
ORANGE SLICE: The women’s lacrosse team sent notice of its national title aspirations by beating fourth-ranked Syracuse, 17-16, in the Carrier Dome in the season opener. Ally Kennedy, who had four goals and three assists in that victory, now returns for a second senior season. She recently was named US Lacrosse Magazine’s national Preseason Player of the Year for the upcoming 2021 campaign.
OVER-ZEALOUS: Coach Anthony Gilardi’s first season at the helm of the men’s lacrosse team included three overtime winners from Caleb Pearson en route to a 5-2 record. Harrison Matsuoka was rewarded for the team and his individual success by becoming a first-round pick of his hometown Calgary Roughnecks.
PERFECT ENDING: Right-hander Dawn Bodrug tossed a perfect game against Cornell in Madeira Beach, Fla. — the softball program’s first since 2012, and only the fourth in the program’s Division I era.
ON TRACK: The track and field teams captured three individual titles on the final day of the America East Indoor Championships. Vann Moffett earned gold in the 3000 meters with a time of 8:12.69. Luke Coulter’s time of 2:24.56 in the 1000m gave him a first-place finish. And Amanda Stead’s career-best run in the 200m crowned her a conference champion.
FLYING COLORS: Swimmer Michal Liberman clocked in with a blazing time of 54.24 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly, lowering her own school record while claiming the America East title. The win marked the first individual title for Stony Brook since Renee Deschenes won the 100 backstroke in 2011.
MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT: When baseball alum Travis Jankowski made his first appearance for the Cincinnati Reds on Opening Day, it marked the 20th season a Stony Brook product appeared in a Major League Baseball game.
HIGHLIGHT PERFORMANCES: Mouhamadou Gueye already appears in the top 10 in blocks in men’s basketball program history. Gueye also set the pace for Stony Brook appearances on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays over the past year (if you allow us to dip a few days into December 2019). After being featured twice in the same countdown for highlight-reel plays against Virginia just before New Year’s a year ago, he earned another spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 for a thunderous dunk at Vermont on Jan. 8.
PLAY BALL: Sports are back! When the women’s basketball team stepped onto the court on Nov. 25 to face Fordham, it marked the first Stony Brook intercollegiate sporting event since the Seawolves baseball team defeated Merrimack all the way back on March 11 — a gap of 259 days without action.
Here’s to a much more active 2021!